Memorable Quotes on Writing, from the Pros

typewriter-801921_640You’ve heard what 4Mothers has to say about our writing practices… here is what some slightly (ahem) better known writers have to say about it.  Thanks for joining us this week – have a great weekend!


When I’m working on a book, I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm. . . . At the end of the day, I mark up the pages I’ve done–pages or page–all the way back to page one. I mark them up so that I can retype them in the morning. It gets me past that blank terror.

Joan Didion


I’m not sure I understand the process of writing. There is, I’m sure, something strange about imaginative concentration. The brain slowly begins to function in a different way, to make mysterious connections. Say, it is Monday, and you write a very bad draft, but if you keep trying, on Friday, words, phrases, appear almost unexpectedly. I don’t know why you can’t do it on Monday, or why I can’t. I’m the same person, no smarter, I have nothing more at hand.

Elizabeth Hardwick


The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.

Philip Roth


I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.

Jane Austen


I’m writing a book.  I’ve got the page numbers done.

Steven Wright


Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

Barbara Kingsolver


3 thoughts on “Memorable Quotes on Writing, from the Pros

  1. Lately, the most inspiring quotation for me is this, from Ernest Hemingway in a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald: “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”

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